Maybe that would’ve carried more weight if I’d blogged immediately instead of waiting 3 weeks. Oops.
Anyway, we woke up on Christmas morning at…I was going to say the crack of dawn, because that’s the expression, but nope. We woke up earlier than the crack of dawn. In fact, we woke up so we could drive up to Mt. Wellington and see the sunrise from the top of the mountain. We dragged a little bit and left later than we probably should have, but in our defense, it was 4-something in the morning.
As we made our journey to the mountain, we were welcomed by a friend on the side of the road.
We actually saw two kangaroos. We saw one and failed to get a picture, and Thomas said something along the lines of, “well, that was our chance.” And 10 seconds later we saw this guy. He sat staring at us for a couple minutes before he hopped back into the brush.
We made our way up the mountain behind schedule. Eventually, we got to a lookout spot, where we stopped to get some photos.
It was a really gorgeous view, but didn’t provide the panorama that we expected at the top, so we pushed onward.
By the time we got there, we’d pretty much missed the sunrise, but the sky was still tinged with some nice pastels, and the views of the city below were spectacular. I cursed myself a little for not having a wide angle lens, and therefore not being able to capture the full scope of what I was seeing. It was also bitterly bitterly cold in a way we weren’t expecting. I knew it would be chilly, but it felt like winter, and we were not prepared, especially after the last few days of heat and sunburn in Melbourne.
We went back down the mountain to our Airbnb, took a little nap, and prepared ourselves for some more Christmas Day fun.
In the afternoon, we drove to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
I’m not sure if I’ve expressed how absolutely beautiful Tasmania is, but oh my gosh, it was absolutely worth going to. Hobart, the capital, is a city of about 200,000 people. I kept telling Thomas it reminded me a little of my our Matagalpa, as they’re both cities nestled in the hilly mountains, with houses built up the hillside. Anyway, the city itself gave me a sense of nostalgia, but immediately outside it, the landscape starts to open up, and you get a sense of the remoteness of the place. This is my long-winded way of saying it was a very nice drive to the wildlife sanctuary.
Because we were there on Christmas Day, they were operating with a skeleton staff, so they obviously didn’t have the capacity to do all of their usual tours. We knew that going in, and we were fine guiding ourselves through to see the wildlife. We saw a lot of wildlife that is native to Australia, many species which are now extinct outside of Tasmania.
We got to feed some kangaroos out of our own hands, and I was living my best life.
Bonorong is a wildlife sanctuary, meaning they rescue injured or abandoned animals and rehabilitate them so they can reenter the wild. This guy’s name is Randall, and he was attacked by a dog. His leg was injured so badly that they had to amputate it. Because he can no longer fight off predators, he’s a permanent resident here.
Of course, no trip to Tasmania would be complete without seeing a Tasmanian devil or two.
Just as we were about to leave, the staff started to give wrapped gifts to some of the animals. The boxes were full of meat, and we got to watch them open them and get their treat. The devil that I watched was a baby, and it was more interested in the paper than the food. Adorable.
Of course, we also saw some other amazing animals, including some birds (many were in cages and the photos didn’t turn out very well).
We’d somehow missed the wombats when we first got there, and right as we were leaving we got to pet a baby one. This little guy was orphaned and left alone, so he’s being taken care of here until he can reenter the wild.
I’ll end this post with this little joey peeking out from his mama’s pouch.
In the next post, we’re leaving Hobart to explore Port Arthur and drive up the beautiful Tasmanian coast!